The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Bowled Over

 

January 4, 2018



I saw a lot of football games in the last couple of weeks. I thought there would be some good match-ups and a few of the early games weren’t too bad. But there were a few blowouts and mismatches, and it was good that there was a basketball game or two to watch once the bowl games were unwatchable.

The Pac 12 sent nine teams to bowl games, but only the Utah Utes came away with a victory. Coach Kyle Whittingham’s Utes dominated West Virginia in the Heart of Dallas Bowl 30-14. Whittingham-coached teams have gone 11-1 in the postseason.

Which makes one wonder how his approach to the bowl games differs from other coaches? Apparently he puts a lot of value in going to a bowl game and rewarding his fans with well-played games that usually end in victories.

Big 10 teams picked WSU, UW, USC and Arizona apart. UCLA and Stanford lost heartbreakers to Big 12 teams. Oregon lost to Mountain West Champion Boise State and North Carolina State dominated Arizona State.

You might give Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State a pass since they were playing without the Head Coach they played for during the season.

UCLA and ASU fired their coaches and Willie Taggart, Oregon’s coach left for Florida State after only one year at the helm.

WSU played their game without QB Luke Falk, who apparently had an injury to his non-throwing hand or wrist. Without Falk and a couple of key receivers that left WSU after the season finale, the Cougs looked lost and the defense could not contain the Michigan State Spartans.

It was quite a turn-around for the Spartans after going 3-9 a year ago. They return a lot of talent and a strong will to return to the top of the Big 10 again.

In my humble opinion, I think the Pac 12 coaches need to find out what Whittingham and the Utes do to prepare for a bowl game.

With extra practices teams should play a lot better than the last game of the season. Players have a chance to heal and get rested and a few new plays can be installed.

I really think the Cougars need to change up a few things they do near the goal line like a Wildcat type running QB that has the option to run or pass instead of only having a throwing QB whose only run option is to hand the ball off to a running back.

A little more deception could lead to more TDs instead of stalled drives and field goal attempts. This is just my opinion so don’t blow a gasket if you think Coach Leach is always right and should never be questioned.

The bowl games that were the most entertaining with the exception of one or two were played on New Year’s Day. Beside the College Football Playoff games in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, three other games were well played that day and the teams came to win these games.

Central Florida knocked off Auburn in the Peach Bowl, which was a great game. Coach Scott Frost led the Knights to a 13-0 record two years removed from a 0-12 season. He will move on the Nebraska where Athletic Director Bill Moos hired a Cornhusker to turn things around in Lincoln.

The UCF football team played their hearts out in this game and had no animosity toward their coach wanting to go home to coach and they proved it with the 34-27 victory.

The Rose Bowl game between Oklahoma and Georgia was amazing with big plays and excitement as only a Rose Bowl game should have.

The first playoff OT game went into double overtime with Georgia scoring a TD after they blocked an Oklahoma field goal. Final score was 54-48. If you weren’t exhausted after that one you probably didn’t watch the entire game.

In the Sugar Bowl game, which was the third meeting in consecutive years of the football playoffs, Alabama manhandled Clemson.

The Crimson Tide were bigger, stronger, faster and meaner than the Tigers in this one. The 24-6 Alabama victory was not nearly as exciting as last year’s national championship game that was won by Clemson on the last play of the game.

Alabama was focused and they weren’t going to be denied a chance at another National Championship. So next Monday it will be Alabama versus Georgia in an all SEC final. It will be Bama Coach Nick Saban versus his former Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart the Georgia head coach.

Here’s hoping the game will be as exciting as this year’s Rose Bowl game.

 

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